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This month we start to welcome back the migrating birds, and by now we are seeing many North American species such as Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Purple Martin and many species of wood-warblers arriving in Panama on their southward migration! The raptors have also begun passing through, and we have already had large numbers of Mississippi, Plumbeous and Swallow-tailed kites fly over the Canopy Tower. Did you know that Panama is one of the top sites in the world for raptor migration? Last year over 3.2 million raptors migrated through the isthmus. We are gearing up to start our raptor count at the Canopy Tower on October 1; stay tuned for more information about the season's progress in our next newsletter. To best experience the incredible raptor migration in Panama, we offer a special tour featuring this natural attraction, Panama's Hawk Migration Spectacular, and there are still spaces available for this tour this year. Also, keep an eye on our recent sightings to see what is showing up!
I would like to extend a loving congratulations to my son Daniel and his new bride, Maria Fernanda, as they wed on August 29th in Bogota, Colombia. Welcome Maria Fernanda to the family!
If you are in the Ohio area, meet Carlos Bethancourt and Alexis Sanchez at the American Birding Expo, Oct 2-4 in Columbus, Ohio. Please stop by our booth at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center and say hello!
Best wishes, and I hope to see
Raúl Arias de Para - President/Founder
Canopy Family News
Canopy Family Participates in Great National Day of Reforestation in Panama
On August 29, the Ministry of the Environment organized a nation-wide reforestation event across Panama, part of an initiative called the "Million Hectare Reforestation Project". Of course, we wanted to help! Carlos Bethancourt and his son Roberto and Tatiana Perez put their hands and shovels to work in Camino del Cruces National Park near the Canopy Tower, where 800 trees were planted. In Darién, Nando Quiroz and Dani Marin did the same near the Canopy Camp, helping plant hundreds of trees in this region of the country. Furthermore, members of the Ministry of the Environment visited the Canopy Camp as a part of the event, to learn more about what we do and see our initiatives for environmental protection in action. Overall, thousands of trees were planted on this day at 32 sites all over the country. We are proud to have so much protected land and forest in Panama, and efforts by the government and environmental organizations ensure that important habitat is being maintained, protected and growing, all contributing to Panama’s incredible biodiversity.
Left, Canopy Tower manager Tatiana Perez and Roberto Bethancourt plant trees in Camino del Cruces National Park, and right, Canopy Camp manager Nando Quiroz joins dozens of participants in Darien during a tree planting event, part of a new nation-wide reforestation initiative in Panama.
New Butterfly Species for Panama Found at the Canopy Tower
Although small, Panama is a place of diversity and discovery. In August, our resident biologist Jenn Sinasac took a photo of a butterfly inside the dining room windows of the Canopy Tower. Surely a metalmark and definitely distinctive, she was surprised when she could not find an ID for this species in any resources. She sent it off to our butterfly expert Kim Garwood, author of The Butterflies of Central America, who also did not recognize it. As the photo got passed to various Lepidopterans in South America, the butterfly was identified as Symmachia calligrapha, a species of metalmark known only from South America with a specimen collected in Brazil over 100 years ago. This rare butterfly is a new species for Panama and Central America! If you are interested in butterflies, check out the upcoming dates for our next butterfly tours at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge!
Another Great Year at the UK Bird Fair!
Carlos and Evelyn Bethancourt traveled once again to Rutland, England in August to represent the Canopy Family at the biggest bird fair in the world, the British Birdwatching Fair. Over the course of 3 days, Carlos and Evelyn talked to thousands of birders, wildlife photographers and general nature enthusiasts. Carlos presented his ever-popular talk on the birds and wildlife of Panama and even managed to get in a little bit of birding during their stay! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello, we hope to see you all in Panama soon.
Carlos and Evelyn Bethancourt with Tim Appleton, the founder of the British Birdwatching Fair, this year at the Canopy Family booth.
Recent Guests at Our Lodges
One of our most frequent guests, Jackie Webber, above left with Canopy Tower guide Michael Castro, returned back once again to the Canopy Tower in August, her 4th time at the Tower. She has also visited the Canopy Lodge 3 times and the Canopy Camp last year. On the right, Raul presents a cake to Patricia & David Davidson of San Antonio, Texas, on their 50th wedding anniversary. They spent this special occasion at the Canopy Lodge, and have visited both the Canopy Tower and Canopy Camp in previous years. Thank you Jackie, Patricia and David for continuing to visit and enjoy our lodges, we feel honored that you keep coming back!
Above left, Raul with Thomas & Susan Covalla, Richard Billings & Cynthia Fox, recent guests from North Carolina, who did what we call our "TLC" (Tower-Lodge-Camp) tour, but personalized it to be a "CTL" tour! They have also been to the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge in the past. Above right, Charlie Brookes, Darlene Guckenberger, Canopy Lodge guide Danilo Rodriguez, Nina Rach, Claudia Longmore and Letha Slagle are a happy bunch after finding the elusive Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo near the Canopy Lodge a few days ago!